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Judge's decision in a court case

from Lexis/Nexis, available from the WCU Library web page (www.wcupa.edu).


The Concerned Citizens of Greater West Chester et al., Petitioners v. The Honorable Thomas D. Larson, Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania et al., Respondents. William A. DeAngelo, Party Respondent

No. 874 C.D. 1979

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
48 Pa. Commw. 241; 409 A.2d 511; 1980 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1008

November 14, 1979, Argued

January 2, 1980, Decided


Original jurisdiction in case of The Concerned Citizens of Greater West Chester, Ann E. Whitcraft and the Borough of West Chester v. The Honorable Thomas D. Larson, Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania and Department of Transportation and William A. DeAngelo.

DISPOSITION: Motion granted. Judgment entered for said respondents and against petitioners.

COUNSEL: John R. Polito, Jr., with him William S. Huganir, Ross A. Unruh, for petitioners.

John M. Hrubovcak, Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

John E. Good, for party respondent.

JUDGES: Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.


OPINION: [*242] [**512] Petitioners, The Concerned Citizens of Greater West Chester, Ann E. Whitcraft, and the Borough of West Chester, have filed a petition for review pursuant [*243] to the original jurisdiction of this Court under Section 761 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S.  761, challenging the issuance of a highway occupancy permit by the Department of Transportation (Department) to one William DeAngelo, [***2] and the subsequent refusal of the Department to grant Petitioners an evidentiary hearing. The Department has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Pa. R.A.P. 1542 and Pa. R.C.P. No. 1035. We will grant the motion.

Factually, DeAngelo applied for and was granted a building permit to erect a Burger King Restaurant in the Borough of West Chester on land he had purchased from the West Chester School District. DeAngelo had also been granted zoning approval for the same installation. He applied to the Department for a highway occupancy permit for two access points to serve his commercial establishment, one such access point being located on Price Street and the other on High Street. The Department granted the application on February 8, 1979. On March 14 and 15, Petitioners wrote to the Department requesting an evidentiary hearing concerning the issuance of the highway occupancy permit which request was denied by the Department on or about March 22, 1979.

In this proceeding Petitioners contend that the Department's refusal to grant a hearing is in violation of their rights under the provisions of Section 504 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S.  504. n1 The Department's [***3] Motion for Summary Judgment alleges that Petitioners lack standing, that the provisions of the Act do [**513] not apply to the issuance of a highway occupancy permit and that sovereign immunity is a bar [*244] to the action. Under the provisions of Pa. R.C.P. No. 1035, we may enter judgment where there is no dispute as to any material issue of fact and where the petitioner is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Interestingly, Petitioners do not contend that there is any factual issue to be resolved which would prevent the entry of judgment if the Department would be otherwise entitled to it.

[material omitted]

The petition before us now recites that The Concerned Citizens of Greater West Chester are residents and/or taxpayers of the Borough [***5] of West Chester with a direct interest in the granting of the permit and that the Department's action aggrieved them. Nowhere does the petition set forth how Petitioners were aggrieved [*245] or what their direct interest in the subject matter might be, i.e., the causation of the harm to their interest by the grant of the permit. Finally, there is nothing pled which shows that the organization has an immediate and substantial interest in the granting of the permit. Clearly, the mere fact of residency and/or taxpaying status in the same borough where a permit for curb cuts on a single private property are granted gives no standing whatsoever to such petitioners under the criteria of Wm. Penn Parking Garage, Inc., supra.

With respect to Petitioner Ann E. Whitcraft, it is alleged that she is a citizen, resident and taxpayer of the Borough and Commonwealth and that she owns real property contiguous to the property for which the highway occupancy permit was given. While the fact that a party is a contiguous property owner may show a more direct interest than those owning property generally in the Borough as alleged by The Concerned Citizens of Greater West Chester, such [***6] an allegation in and of itself fails to disclose how the Petitioner is aggrieved nor does it suggest an immediate or substantial interest on the part of the Petitioner Whitcraft.

[material omitted]


And Now, this 2nd day of January, 1980, on Motion of the Respondents Honorable Thomas D. Larson and Department of Transportation of Pennsylvania for Summary Judgment, it is ordered that judgment be entered for the Honorable Thomas D. Larson and Department of Transportation of Pennsylvania and against The Concerned Citizens of Greater West Chester, Ann E. Whitcraft and the Borough of West Chester.

Map || Deeds

Last Will and Testmanent

Microfilm available at the Chester County Courthouse, Recorder of Wills


"Last Will and Testament of Mary A. Townsend" #53633, Will Book n/a (Chester County Recorder of Wills).

Died: April 11, 1947

Widow of John H. Townsend

Children: Annie E. Davis, William E. Townsend, Mary J. Hamilton and Harry W. Townsend.

Inventory: total was $8530.74 consisting of four houses in Riggtown (394-400 E. Nields St.), a savings account worth $1187.14, two life insurance policies worth $1327.66, and miscellaneous furniture in her home at 396 E. Nields St. worth $10. After paying debts, the balance consisted of the four houses and $1272.04.

Note: The will divided the four houses and cash among the children. Annie E. Davis got 394 E. Nields St., William E. Townsend got 396 E. Nields St., Mary J. Hamilton got 398 E. Nields St., and Harry W. Townsend got 400 E. Nields St.. Each got an equal share of the remaining cash ($318.01 each).

Among the debts left to the estate, there was one for burial clothing from Mosteller's Department Store, worth $36.54.

The description of the four houses noted that all had tin roofs, six rooms, borough water and sewer but no other services, and all but 400 E. Nields St. had a garage in back.

Court case || Deeds


available in the Chester County Historical Society Library 225 N. High St., West Chester


"Atlas of Properties on Main Line Pennsylvania Railroad from Devon to Downingtown and West Chester" (Philadelphia: A. H. Mueller, 530 Locust Street, 1912), plate 19.

This plate shows the northeast part of West Chester.

All of the buildings at the Sharples Separator Works are completed by 1912.

The site of the modern Gay Street Plaza was the "P. M. Sharples Athletic Field" which featured a track around the perimeter and a pond at the east end.

The ice pond between Market and Gay Streets was owned by the "Uriah H. Painter Estate." The dam was located about the middle of the western end of the Buggy Car Wash.

The shopping center that includes Rita's Water Ice was the Dallett Hemphill coal yard. It was fed by two railroad sidings. One went under the Chestnut Street bridge just east of the PRR connector track and curved eastward to deadend at the end of the building which currently houses Rita's Water Ice and the Ino- Pakistani Grocery. The other siding went over Chestnut Street just east of the bridge and onto the roof of a coal tipple located where the line of shops that includes Atlanta Bread Company and Coco's Pizza is now located. The map also shows that the building that houses the tackle shop and Mexican grocery in the northwest corner of the shopping center was standing in 1912.

Detail of 1909 Sanborn atlas showing part of the area described in these notes

Evans Street office plaza was the Roland Smedley coal yard. The former General Sales Co. lot on the southeast corner of Walnut and Chestnut Street belonged to the Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Company.

The Peoples Ice and Cold Storage Company occupied two parcels. One was on the north side of the Edison Electric power plant along Evans Street, at what would be the back of the modern YMCA. The other was on the south side of E. Chestnut Street at what would be the west end of the Mosteller Parking Garage. It was served by a railroad siding that was left over from the old WCRR train station in the unit block of E. Gay Street.

The Eagle Hotel occupied the northwest corner of Gay and Walnut Streets. Behind it on N. Walnut Street, approximately where the Rite Aid parking lot is today, was the Tattersall Livery Stable. North of that, on the southwest corner of Walnut and Chestnut was the office of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. They also owned the power plant on the northwest corner as well as the parcel on the northeast corner, currently occupied by the Arthur Hall Insurance Company.

The building at 222 N. Walnut, on the northwest corner of Walnut and Evans Alley, housed the National Crayon Company.

Court case || Last will & testament ||

Property Deeds

available in the Recorder of Deeds Office 121 N. Walnut St., West Chester


Alonzo Harvey's real estate purchases in Riggtown
  1. 390 E. Nields St. for $1000. See Chester County Deed Book I15 (March 3, 1918), 568.
  2. 392 E. Nields St. for $1000. See Chester County Deed Book R15 (March 23, 1920), 372.
  3. 539 S. Franklin St. for $1. See Chester County Deed Book B16 (April 3, 1922), 525.
  4. 541 S. Franklin St. for $1. See Chester County Deed Book B16 (April 3, 1922), 525.
  5. 437 E. Nields St. for $1. See Chester County Deed Book Z18 (January 5, 1933), 187.

Deeds for 537 S. Franklin St.

  1. Rose Ford was the executor for the John Caldwell estate.
  2. Mifflin Rigg paid $1601. See Chester County Deed Book S11 (August 20, 1894), 191.
  3. William Henry Townsend paid $900. See Chester County Deed Book L12 (January 24, 1903), 207.
  4. Stanley & Lottie Johnson paid $1000. See Chester County Deed Book L14 (March 27, 1913), 79.
  5. Lydia Beaver paid $1. See Chester County Deed Book L15 (January 31, 1919), 431.
  6. Dennis McDevitt paid $1. See Chester County Deed Book G16 (April 20, 1923), 490.
  7. Harold & Martha Fitzsimmons paid $1000. See Chester County Deed Book T19 (March 27, 1937), 13.
  8. George Norman Highley paid $1. See Chester County Deed Book P20 (July 8, 1941), 402.
  9. Duncan Douglas (Jr) Chalmers paid $10,100. See Chester County Deed Book J42 (November 16, 1973), 56.
  10. C. A. Angelique Lukacs & Elizabeth Jones-Lukacs paid $106,900. See Chester County Deed Book (1990), 2190/136.
  11. Andrew & Sandra Shoffner paid $102,000 in May 2000. See PI 2000-09-03.

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